Did you know that adding enrichment activities is shown to reduce your pet’s stress, as well as improve their mental health? Adding activities that are different from their normal routine will add some excitement to their day, as well as keep your pet’s mind and body moving, which is extremely beneficial to their overall health.
Socializing your pet with other animals is a very important aspect of enrichment for your furry friends. Setting up play dates for your dog to play with a pup friend helps them to learn how to play well with others. Socializing your cat may look different than a dog’s, but should still be an important focus. Another great way to socialize your pet is by giving them some intentional face-to-face time. It is important for them to get one on one time with you as their owner, because you are clearly their favorite human! However, it is also important for your animals to interact often with people outside your home, as to encourage a healthy temperament.
Another enrichment area involves engaging with your pet’s senses. Scent is a great sense to activate through a series of fun activities, engaging both your pet’s body and mind to focus on their natural abilities. A game such as hiding treats within your house or out in your yard can get your pet moving and reward them in the process. There are also many toys that you can purchase tailored specifically for pet enrichment.
Occupational enrichment is giving your pet the ability to learn something new. For dogs, this may be learning a new trick such as “sit” or “roll over”. This allows for a life of continual learning for your pup, as well as makes everyday tasks in both your life and theirs easier. Additionally, learning new skills has been shown to reduce levels of stress and fear in some dogs. Enrichment for your cat may be teaching them a new activity, such as scratching a scratching post rather than your furniture. This is not only beneficial to you and your home, but your furry feline as well.
Have you ever thought of ways to add something new to your pet’s life? Take these examples as a starting point to add a few enrichment activities of your own to your pet’s routine and know that you are improving the health of your pet by doing so!
Photo by Helena Lopes: https://www.pexels.com/photo/short-coated-tan-dog-2253275/